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centuries old naive debate

From: Chandrasekaran. V (
Date: Sun Mar 15 1998 - 10:06:32 PST

Dear members,
   Lately we find many postings alluding to superiority of 
one Deity over the other (Durga and Lakshmi, Sri Krishna 
fighting against Parameswaran (instance in Thiruvaimozhi) etc.) 
This is but a multi-century old disgusting argument that had 
done nothing but lay bare the bosoms of the arguing parties 
and showed only how unfortunately mistaken they are about 
our one and only God.

   While the Truth that God is one and He pervades and manifests
in/as all beings and non-beings is thundered time and time again 
by our srutis, it is very unfortunate that we cause apacharam 
by splitting the amsams of our only Lord into multiple deities 
and compare one with the other according to our own convenient 

   The import of my above point is not that having multiple 
deities is a bane to a religion or that one should not just
worship one God alone. The point is that though one worships
and surrenders to a deity one should not compare his/her deity 
with others for establishing superiority or vice versa. If he/she 
does then it would mean he/she has missed the whole point. That 
sort of spirituality will only lead towards absurd politics. 
Nothing more can be availed of it in terms of spiritual gain. 

   We mortals are basically extending our tendency in unnecessarily 
trying to prove the superiority of our language, nation etc., to 
even comparing the Supreme Paraman. When we are comparing our 
favourite deity with another (basically we should realise that 
deities are conceptual ideas of our one Lord) we are merely trying 
to only reassure ourselves that we are in the right clan. If we 
have the purest faith in our bosom why should we even think about 
other deities, leave alone compare. There is no room for paranoia. 
Even our Lord won't like this. Sadly we don't realise how 
unrighteously we are taking liberty in placing Gods on the pans
of a common balance.

   Still I can't explain myself why the supremely pure Azhwars and
Nayanmars were comparing Sivan and Vishnu. One knows the bitter 
tales of how South Indian fabric was ripped apart by religious
quarells in the past. It's a matter of shame for us people who 
call themselves followers of the sanathana dharma which preaches 
the purest truth in all the world.

   I found this interesting thought on the web (I have shared 
this with one of the bhakti members earlier). This is from Saint 
thyagaraja's life.

The word Rama (RA-MA) was to him a Numen that transcended all 
names. It would be more than absurd to attribute any sectarian 
leanings to Tyagaraja. He sings, "As what did they define You? 
How did they worship You? - as Siva, as Madhava, as Brahma born 
of Lotus or as Parabrahma, the Trans-Godhead? I prostrate myself 
before those who know the secret of MA as the life of Siva-mantra 
and RA as the life of Narayana-mantra"

   (I am interested in knowing which song is referred to here).

   When the parama bhakta thyagaraja himself has said like this
nothing more need be said.

   I hope I haven't offended bhagavadhotamas even unknowingly 
by this mail. I wish to tell the members that this posting is not
an outcome of any misinterpretation of the Acharya's comment on 
"Durga and Lakshmi".
   Thanks to Sri Krishna Kalale for his earlier response in this
matter. If one realises the essence of "tat tvam asi" there is no
question of which God, who is superior etc.

   adiyArkku adiyEn,
   vishNu is sivam (ever auspicious and pure)
   sivan is vishNuthvam (all pervading)
   sindhaiyil sivatthai irutthi ( fix on the purest consciousness in thought )
      mummalam ozhitthu yANdum  ( destroy all kinds of impurities )
   kaNNil therivana theriyAk    ( realise vishNuthvam everywhere in things you )
      kAtRum vishNuvin iyalbAm  ( can see and even in the air you can't see )
   ena parathai eNNuga manamE!  ( think of the paraman O mind! )
      Esan oruvan paraman       ( the Eswaran is one, Supreme, )
   endhai avanai vaitthu        ( our Divine Father, meditate on Him )
      azhiyA nilaiyai adaivAi   ( and attain immortal state )